Review: Tuaca Liqueur (2017)

Review: Tuaca Liqueur (2017)

The last time we heard from Tuaca was back in 2012, when the classic liqueur got an ill-advised brand overhaul, complete with a wholly out-of-place modernized bottle and label. A cinnamon-heavy version called Cinnaster came a year later.

Sazerac bought the brand in 2016 and earlier this year relaunched it — not just with the old label reinstated (or a very similar one, anyway), but with a revamped recipe closer to something like the original Tuaca might have tasted like. To wit:

The brand renaissance starts with what is inside the bottle. Tuaca will once again be made with imported Italian brandy and infused with Mediterranean citrus and vanilla spice.

I had the good fortune to discover I had a mini Tuaca from ~2007 on hand to compare against a new bottle made with the revamped recipe. Let’s give them both a try, head to head, to see how things have changed.

The 2017 Tuaca is clearly darker in color, and the nose is completely different. Rather than simple cinnamon and orange, the aromas are much earthier, with hints of spice box, mushroom, cedar chest, and caramel. That isn’t necessarily a plus — its brooding aroma can be a little off-putting at first.

The palate is, of course, just as different as the nose. While old Tuaca is light and feathery, with a lemon-orange-cinnamon trinity at work, the new one has more complexity, and it’s more engaging. The brandy base gives the spirit a viscosity and a core of cinnamon raisin character, atop which candied orange, cloves, and allspice make an impression. The finish is much more lasting than the older bottle, spicy and warming — the way Tuaca really ought to be.

All in all, the change in recipe is a fantastic move.

70 proof.


Tuaca Liqueur (2017)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. D Retke on February 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Not fond of the 2017 flavor.

  2. Meg on December 31, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    For years Tuaca was my house after-dinner liqueur. Then, the label changed- the new stuff was truly awful. Today, my son brought me a bottle for New Year’s and I thought “This looks like the old label.” We tasted and liked it; knew it was a bit different but couldn’t put our finger on the difference. So thanks for this review. Our bottle says “product of Canada” and “imported” by Salzerac.

  3. joanie adams on March 22, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Sigh. It’s still not back to the original. We, too, used to have a Tuaca coffee after dinner. It was an original. Why o why does everything have to change?

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